Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Amir Khusrau Dehlavi (1253-1325 AD), a prolific classical poet associated with royal courts of more than seven rulers of Delhi Sultanate, is also a household name in much of North India and Pakistan, through hundreds of playful riddles, songs and legends attributed to him. Through his enormous literary output and the legendary folk personality, Khusrau represents one of the first (recorded) Indian personages with a true multi-cultural or pluralistic identity. Those following Hindi film music, may remember a Lata Mangeshkar song called Zehale miskin makun... (from the film Gulaami) that borrows from a Persian-Hindi ghazal attributed to Amir Khusrau, one of the most colourful examples of the synthesis of two great cultural streams.